A major talking point tof moving to Qubes was to avoid this problem. When I connect sys-whonix to Tor I get a message in the message box that says “Connecting to Tor” and then “Connect to Tor”. There is simply no reason on earth why that message cannot also read, when necessary, “A new distribution to Whonix is now available. Please see the whonix website for special instructions.”
These messages are the exact reason why people like myself do not run Whonix Check on a regular basis. There is no need because we get those notifications another way.
There is a way to deliver the correct information to the user right at the desktop. It’s not being used. Instead, what we have is notifications cast to the wind and pray that the user sees one of them and if not, well, their bad luck.
Whonix 14 should have a more-informed transition process.
Regarding the actual upgrade process: Qubes does not handle template upgrades. Each template is responsible for itself - meaning no guarantees can be made that future upgrades will be any simpler or more automatic. However, your point about being directed to upgrade instructions before actually upgrading is well taken (by me - but I’m not a dev )
Good to hear it. Let me be clear. I am grateful for the hard work that Patrick and others have put into Whonix and Qubes. It is simply the fact that when one is dealing with security, especially secure operating system, what one doesn’t like is to be surprised. This is the first time I have gone up a distribution while under Qubes and I didn’t expect this type of situation. I now know better.
FWIW this error message has now gone away after I followed the directions on the Wiki.
Keep in mind, in most cases, you can simply swap out your template for the newest one. There are actually 3 methods to upgrade your Whonix distribution:
In-place using apt-get (per wiki instructions)
Semi-fresh: Keep your existing proxyVMs & appVMs.
Download latest templates.
Switch templateVM for each of your existing VMs.
(Since Whonix templates are the same name regardless of version (ie qubes-template-whonix-ws), I like to clone them right after downloading to something like whonix-ws-13. Then I remove the templates right away. That way when whonix-14 comes around, I can download the new templates and still have my whonix-13 templates.)
Completely-fresh: Download latest templates.
Make new proxyVMs & appVMs.
Copy data only from existing VMs.
Actually, I would like someone to comment on the probability of breaking your system doing #2.
(My guess would be that it should be fairly safe until people start using bind directories and then have stale configs that persist…)